What The Hell Is THIS???

December 2nd, 2016

The title above was also the title of an email an old friend sent me.  Seems he had come across a picture of the Pistolia Con Caracato, a unique revolver that boasts three barrels.



Pity revolver manufacturers in the opening years of the 20th Century.  Autoloading handguns had been invented a decade or so before that put their products to shame.  Who would want a gun that only fired six shots, and was slow to reload, when they could have ten rounds and reload in a flash?

mauser c96 without shoulder stock attached

The gun companies tinkered with increasing the number of rounds available in revolvers, and they weren’t too shy about taking things to absurd lengths.  As I’ve written about before, the most successful was a line of double barrelled guns from the French firearms firm of HDH.

hdh revolver showing the 2 barrels and 2 tier revolver

But let us return to the matter at hand, the three barrel wonder.

The gun that caused my buddy to reach out seems to be a prototype of some kind.  Let us take a closer look.



The There is no manufacturer’s mark, no proof marks that show the gun was test fired and proved to be safe to use, and what appears to be a serial number of “1”.  The Italian words stamped in the metal mean “Overstuffed Pistol”, which is an apt description considering that the handgun holds 18 rounds.

Judging by the pictures above, this would be a pretty large revolver.  Not too unmanagable, though, as the gun is chambered for the very small and pitiful .25 ACP cartridge. This would keep the size of the gun from growing to ridiculous proportions, but it also means the gun is way too underpowered to be considered an adequate self defense tool.

There is a selector switch on the revolver, which is extremely unusual, and it allows all three of the barrels to be fired at once with every pull of the trigger.  Would this three-bullet bang mean the gun edges up into self-defense good-enough?  Not in my opinion, as the .25 ACP is so underpowered that you really need about five going off at once to make a single decent punch.

So is there a five barrel revolver out there somewhere?  Of course not.  That would be absurd!

Best Sellers For 2016

November 28th, 2016

The Motley Fool, a website dealing in advice for investors, has an article where the five best selling handguns of 2016 are discussed.

pawn shop sign they buy gold and guns

I won’t go through the handguns in question because I think the source deserves some traffic, which means the link may rot off in the future.  But please note that all of the guns listed are appropriate for concealed carry, even if they may not be your own personal choice.


The World Is A Darker Place With His Passing

October 24th, 2016

I have just found out that Steven den Beste has left us.  A massive intellect coupled with an even larger heart, I will miss him sorely.

Godspeed, Steven.


My Kind Of Fishing

October 2nd, 2016

In 1965, a James Bond film was released with the title Thunderball.


This was the fourth film featuring the MI6 superspy, and the number of gadgets and high tech equipment used by Bond had been growing in number and sophistication ever since his first movie in 1962.  With Thunderball, all caution was thrown to the winds.  If it could be depicted on screen, then the producers and director gleefully worked it into the script.

Although I could type away at this keyboard for hours in an attempt to give the lowdown on the neato gear on display, I would like to narrow things down a bit and mention the climactic underwater battle in the third act.  It occurred between SPECTRE, the world spanning terrorist-for-hire criminal organization Bond often had to tangle with, and a brand new branch of the US Navy known as the SEALS.  As the SEALS had only been created two years before, in 1962, this presented a way to gain much needed positive press.

All kinds of underwater weaponry was on display, from propeller driven scooters to spear guns to waterproof grenades.  If you haven’t seen this film, and you are a fan of action movies, you need to go rent a copy forthwith.

The SEALS may have participated in a movie depicting fictional British spies and an equally fictional organization bent on blackmailing world governments with stolen nuclear weapons, but the all too real Soviet Union was well aware that they suffered a serious vulnerability when it came to guarding against sabotage conducted with underwater demolitions.  The only weapon they had to equip their own frogmen for undersea protection was a simple knife, which they judged as being completely inadequate to fend off the expected horde of SEALs that were sure to appear if the Cold War ever turned hot.  With this in mind, Communist weapon designers turned their efforts towards developing underwater firearms.

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Don’t Leave Your Child Alone At The Library

September 29th, 2016

This news article details how some lowlife in Austin, Texas tried to kidnap little girls in a library.


(Picture Source.)

Looks like a real charmer, doesn’t he?

Anyway, the suspect first tried to make off with an 11 year old girl, who wriggled out of his grasp before running to find her father in the library.  The father kept the potential victim near, but didn’t call the police.  When Dad and daughter were in the self checkout line, the suspect came up to the girl and grabbed her by the hand, declaring that the child was coming with him.  Dad told the suspect to let the girl go, but did not call the police again!  The father and daughter checked out their reading material and left for home.

Why didn’t the father call the police?  What does he think they are for, anyway?

Later on, the suspect was found with a partially disrobed 8 year old girl in the bathroom.  Library patrons, unrelated to the little girl who had been assaulted, called the police (at last!) and detained the suspect until the authorities arrived.

Kudos to the faceless, nameless library visitors who did right by the victim.  Shame to the Dad who didn’t care if the suspect went on to assault little girls he didn’t personally know.

Shoot More Or Shoot Harder

September 29th, 2016

I wrote some time ago about how there are extended magazines available for some autoloaders.  These enlarged magazines allow for more rounds to be fired before having to reload.

ruger p89 with two standard magazines and one extended

ruger p89 with extended magazine

This particular essay was in response to a reader who stated that they wanted to increase the firepower of their main defensive arm.

All of that is well and good, but I have since received a small number of missives from my readers insisting that having more shots doesn’t increase the firepower of a weapon.  The only way to do that is to switch to a gun that is chambered for a more powerful round.  Having more rounds to shoot isn’t firepower, but a gun that is more effective with each shot fits the bill.

model 686 357 magnum revolver

autoloader with 15 rounds

The gun on top is a revolver chambered for the potent .357 Magnum cartridge, while the one below is chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge.  The revolver fires a mere six rounds before requiring a reload, while the autoloader uses magazines that hold fifteen rounds each.  If you judge firepower by how much shooty, then the autoloader wins.

But hold the phone!  The .357 Magnum has ammunition available that is more then twice as powerful as the 9mm Parabellum offerings.  If you think of firepower as meaning hard shooty, then the revolver is a clear winner.

So which side is correct?  Is firepower how many times, or how hard?  That mainly depends on where you live.

It has been my experience that those who dwell in the northern areas of the United States mainly insist that firepower depends on how many times you shoot, while those from southern states prefer to think of firepower in terms of how effective each round turns out to be.  Up north they think of fire, while down south they think of power.

It all comes down to personal preference.  Choose whichever you prefer.

Why Don’t They Just Stay Out Of The Water?

September 5th, 2016

mans life weasels

mans life rats

mans life snakes

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Not Really My Thing

September 5th, 2016

I came across a picture I liked.  This was it.

cleaning day

This prompted Steven den Beste to ask the following.

“There’s something down there next to the AR-15 that looks like submachine gun. What is it?”

Can’t say for sure because I don’t own the guns myself, but it looks to me like a Short Barreled Rifle.  (SBR)

22 long rifle version of a short barreled rifle

(Picture source.)

The ArmaLite firearm company has always been interested in standing out, making something new.  The AR-15, which went on to be adopted by the US military as the M-16, is kinda-sorta modular.  What I mean by that is you really can’t take one rifle and simply swap out a few parts to make a completely different gun with distinct handling characteristics and capabilities, but the basic design does lend itself to customization pretty well.

variants of the m16 battle rifle

Civilian firearm enthusiasts in the United States are always looking to push the envelope, Lord love ’em!  Someone got the bright idea of acquiring the shortest barrel possible, with the teensiest of shoulder stocks, and making a really compact rifle.

Okay, so you get a really small rifle.  What is it with this SBR stuff, anyway?

Well, if the gun has too short a barrel, or if the overall length of the weapon is too compact, then the firearm has to be registered with the US government.  A special fee of $200 USD (£150) has to be paid before taking possession of the gun.

All of this applies to guns which were built with shoulder stocks.  What happens if you build a cut down AR from scratch that never felt the taint of a shoulder stock?

ar style pistol

Oh, that is just a pistol.  You know, a handgun.  Special fees and registration with the US government is not necessary.

Be careful, though!  I’m just belting out a brief outline of the law, and you could get in real trouble if you miss a detail or fail to follow a fine point.  If anyone reading this wants some of this nifty hardware, then I strongly suggest that they hire a lawyer who specializes in Federal and local firearms law in order to keep out of trouble.  You can get a little more in depth info by going here or here, but those two links are no substitute for professional advice.  Best to hire the lawyer and make sure all bases are covered.

A Tale Of Woe

September 5th, 2016

Work sent me out of town for a week.  Ten minutes after I get back home, I turn on my computer and it dies a painful death.

skeleton with defunct computer

I had to wait until my next paycheck to get a new one, hence the absence.

It’s good to be back!

Cleaning Day

August 21st, 2016

cleaning day